American Express Sales Teams Misled SMB Owners

A small group of American Express salespeople pushed credit cards on small business owners without adequate credit checks or through special offers that did not exist; the tactics were done by salespeople looking to secure incentive bonuses of up to $100,000; many of the aggressive salespeople started such tactics after Amex lost their partnership with Costco Wholesale; the pressure to hit sales targets to make up for the lost business forced people to make bad decisions; salespeople tried to close sales on phone lines that were not recorded and in some cases used social security numbers to open cards so a SMB owner would just have to active the card when they received it in the mail; Amex did an internal review and found that 0.25 percent of the 65 million new cards were inconsistent with company policies; the OCC has also looked into the matter and listened in on phone calls that were deemed inappropriate; Amex says they have fired or disciplined the salespeople responsible. The Wall Street Journal

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